The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retellings
One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
The cover is really interesting, I picked up the book knowing close to nothing about it. I didn’t know it was a retelling, I didn’t know it was romance. All I knew was it was good based from what my friends said. The cover caught my eye and I saw the full image on the inside of the book and I got totally excited, because I believe we need more diversity in books, especially in YA and I’d love to read about other cultures.
I haven’t actually read Arabian Nights so I have nothing to compare to. I love the story, I love the romance, I love Khalid’s backstory. The romance was slow and sweet and just had my heart melting. The ending was brilliant as well! It had me craving for the second book right away.
Let’s talk about the characters.
I love Shahrzad. She’s fierce, sassy, strong, fearless and would not take shit from anyone, even if he is the Caliph of Khorasan. She is goals tbh. Khalid on the other hand, he reminds me so much of Aaron Warner from the Shatter Me series. He’s dark, cold, a monster as people would say. But that’s what just people say.
As for Tariq, can he not even. I’m just gonna leave this quote here:
“Why do you love her?”
“Because –” Tariq rubbed at the back of his neck. “All of my most cherished memories are of her. I’ve suffered alongside her. And…we’ve laughed at nothing together.”
Omar’s hand fell from Tariq’s shoulder. “A shared history does not entitle you to a future, my friend.”
Despina reminds me so much of Genya from The Grisha Trilogy. I was suspicious of her at first, but she grew on me. I love her sass, and she and Shazi go well together as friends. Plus points when she gave Shazi winged eyeliner
For the final touch, Despina had painted a thick line of black kohl above the top portion of Shahrzad’s eyelashes. She had flicked the lines far past each outer corner, giving the illusion of cat’s eyes.
Jalal, oh god. He’s a cinnamon roll and I love his character so much. Cocky, smooth, sassy and funny. He’s kind of like Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles. I ship him and Despina so hard!
What I do wish to see more in the second book is the magic aspect of it. They touched on it on a few scenes here, but didn’t really stress on it.
Overall, Renee’s writing is so beautiful and keeps you hooked all throughout the story. I am so pleased that this book surprised me with how good it was. I’ve just added a new book to my list of favourites.